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January 28, 2012

Top Cow Reviews: Witchblade #152

Witchblade #152
Publisher: Top Cow
Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Diego Bernard & Fred Benes
Cover: Diego Bernard & Fred Benes

By the end of last issue, Sara was in jail suspected of a possible homicide and for beating up an old woman. However, she’s soon bailed out by a guy she met earlier in the club, and after an awkward moment between them is back on the case. Several more layers of the story are revealed as another new character is introduced. We also get to see who has been tailing Sara and why.

Seeley doesn’t waste any time revealing the secret behind the youthful appearance of Sara’s enemy from last issue. Though, after reading those panels, Sara’s sudden concern about her own looks and age seem very forced to fit within the confines of this particular story. This was something that bothered me last issue, and I’m a bit disappointed my assumptions were correct. There were just too many things in this issue that either didn’t make sense to me or seemed forced to make it work. Sara’s make out scene comes to mind, or more specifically the timing of it. Most women I know would want to get cleaned up after a night at the club, a fight in an alley, then a stint in a pretty nasty jail cell. Instead, we get rushed off to a steamy scene that could have waited until later. However, it’s the subplot taking place that actually overshadows Seeley’s main story. The sequence that gives us a very strong hint at who wants Sara followed was the best part of the story because it was actually a surprise. Though I’m wondering how the guy was able to write on a notepad in the middle of a snowstorm. What also was a step in the right direction was that Seeley gives us a lot less of Sara’s inner dialog. This made for a much better read, as it didn’t seem as if he was forcing us to know all about her in one issue. I will add that in the next issue it better be explained how a half naked woman can walk through a hospital unnoticed and find her victim. That seemed like it was just thrown in for eye candy.

Despite what I feel about the writing, Bernard and Benes continue to make this one great looking title. The insane amount of detail in the backgrounds just makes everything you’re supposed to be looking at look even better. They also take this script to a higher level since not much really happens in this issue aside from the talking. The little bit of action we do get ends rather quickly, much like in the last issue. So I’m hoping for a payoff where we get to see these guys really show us some great sequences.

There isn’t too much going on in this issue that actually pushes the story forward, especially when you only get eighteen pages of actual story. I’d trade the “journal” entry in the back along with the diatribe about the fountain for more actual story. At least then we’d get to see more of the great artwork that’s in this title. Hopefully things pick up very soon, because I’m really waiting on Seeley to give Bernard some really cool sequences to draw besides cityscapes and attractive women.

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Infinite Speech
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